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Meeting of the Parliament

Wednesday 12 November 2008

Note: (DT) signifies a decision taken at Decision Time.

The meeting opened at 2.00 pm.

1. Time for Reflection: Munuza Sheikh, Scottish Interfaith Council led Time for Reflection.

2. Scottish Parliamentary Pensions Bill: Alasdair Morgan moved S3M-2594—That the Parliament agrees to the general principles of the Scottish Parliamentary Pensions Bill.

After debate, the motion was agreed to (DT).

3. Scottish Parliamentary Pensions Bill: Financial Resolution: The Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Sustainable Growth (John Swinney) moved S3M-2837—That the Parliament, for the purposes of any Act of the Scottish Parliament resulting from the Scottish Parliamentary Pensions Bill, agrees to any expenditure charged on the Scottish Consolidated Fund in consequence of the Act.

After debate, the motion was agreed to (DT).

4. Scottish Economy: The Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Sustainable Growth (John Swinney) moved S3M-2853—That the Parliament notes the impact of the global economic slowdown on families, individuals and businesses across Scotland and supports the early and decisive action that the Scottish Government has taken, within its current responsibilities, to help businesses and households, to maximise jobs and investment and to provide a solid foundation for Scotland to take early and speedy advantage of any recovery.

John Park moved amendment S3M-2853.4 to motion S3M-2853—

leave out from “supports” to end and insert—

“calls on the Scottish Government to bring forward measures that will make a real difference to Scottish families, such as reintroducing adult apprenticeship funding across all sectors, improving the services provided by Partnership Action for Continuing Employment to ensure a proactive approach to matching up people with job opportunities, and to ditch plans for a local income tax, which organisations such as STUC and CBI agree would be bad for families, business and enterprise.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 40, Against 75, Abstentions 3).

Derek Brownlee moved amendment S3M-2853.1 to motion S3M-2853—

leave out from second “and” to end and insert—

“; notes the actions already taken by the Scottish Government but believes that the current recession is in part attributable to the mismanagement of the UK economy by the present UK Government and the era of irresponsibility over which it has presided, evidenced by the record levels of government borrowing, regulatory failure and the taxation of pension schemes, which has discouraged saving and investment, and welcomes the measures approved by this Parliament, such as business rates relief and the council tax freeze, which will help businesses and households to maximise jobs and investment and provide a basis for Scotland to take early and speedy advantage of any recovery.”

After debate, the amendment was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 63, Against 53, Abstentions 2).

Jeremy Purvis moved amendment S3M-2853.3 to motion S3M-2853—

leave out from “across” to end and insert—

“; deeply regrets the lack of early and decisive action by the Scottish Government in response to this downturn; recognises that its much trumpeted six-point plan is little more than re-announced promises; welcomes the growing consensus across all the major parties that tax cuts are a positive and effective way to energise the economy, and calls on the Scottish Government to revise the operating plan of Scottish Enterprise, restore local economic development and support to small businesses, make a statement on how capital projects are being accelerated and use the tax-varying powers at its disposal to implement the Liberal Democrats’ proposed 2p reduction in the basic rate of Scottish income tax to deliver more than £300 per year into the pay packet of the average Scottish earner and a significant fiscal stimulus to the economy.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 13, Against 105, Abstentions 0).

After debate, the motion as amended was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 62, Against 53, Abstentions 3).

Accordingly the Parliament resolved—That the Parliament notes the impact of the global economic slowdown on families, individuals and businesses across Scotland; notes the actions already taken by the Scottish Government but believes that the current recession is in part attributable to the mismanagement of the UK economy by the present UK Government and the era of irresponsibility over which it has presided, evidenced by the record levels of government borrowing, regulatory failure and the taxation of pension schemes, which has discouraged saving and investment, and welcomes the measures approved by this Parliament, such as business rates relief and the council tax freeze, which will help businesses and households to maximise jobs and investment and provide a basis for Scotland to take early and speedy advantage of any recovery.

5. Business Motion: Bruce Crawford, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S3M-2860—That the Parliament agrees the following programme of business—

Wednesday 19 November 2008

2.30 pm Time for Reflection

followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by Ministerial Statement: Fuel Poverty

followed by Scottish Government Debate: ID Cards

followed by Business Motion

followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm Decision Time

followed by Members’ Business

Thursday 20 November 2008

9.15 am Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by Scottish Government Debate: Supporting Scotland’s Looked-after Children

11.40 am General Question Time

12 noon First Minister’s Question Time

2.15 pm Themed Question Time

Finance and Sustainable Growth

2.55 pm Scottish Government Debate: A Fresh Start for Scottish Aquaculture

followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm Decision Time

followed by Members’ Business

Wednesday 26 November 2008

2.30 pm Time for Reflection

followed by  Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by Stage 1 Debate: Disabled Persons’ Parking Places (Scotland) Bill

followed by Financial Resolution: Disabled Persons’ Parking Places (Scotland) Bill

followed by Business Motion

followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm Decision Time

followed by Members’ Business

Thursday 27 November 2008

9.15 am Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by Scottish Government Business

11.40 am General Question Time

12 noon First Minister’s Question Time

2.15 pm  Themed Question Time

Education and Lifelong Learning,

Europe, External Affairs and Culture

2.55 pm Scottish Government Business

followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm Decision Time

followed by Members’ Business

The motion was agreed to.

6. Decision Time: The Parliament took decisions on items 2, 3 and 4 as noted above.

7. Welcoming the Launch of Community Energy Scotland: The Parliament debated S3M-2684 in the name of Dave Thompson—That the Parliament welcomes the launch of Community Energy Scotland, the new Highland-based Scottish charity that has taken over the work of the Highlands and Islands Community Energy Company to support communities throughout Scotland to develop sustainable energy projects; commends the organisation’s aim to build confidence, resilience and wealth at community level in Scotland through sustainable energy development, and further commends its leadership role in the growing grass-roots movement dedicated to reinforcing local control and decision-making within the community sector through sustainable energy development and the contribution that this will make to achieving Scotland’s ambitious climate change targets.

The meeting closed at 5.42 pm.

P E Grice
Clerk of the Parliament
12 November 2008

Appendix
(Note: this Appendix does not form part of the Minutes)

Subordinate Legislation

Negative Instruments

The following instruments were laid before the Parliament on 6 November 2008 and are subject to annulment—

The Business Improvement Districts (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2008 (SSI 2008/359)

laid under section 47 of the Planning etc. (Scotland) Act 2006

The Valuation for Rating (Plant and Machinery) (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2008 (SSI 2008/360)

laid under section 43 of the Lands Valuation (Scotland) Act 1854

The following instrument was laid before the Parliament on 7 November 2008 and is subject to annulment

The Justice of the Peace Courts (Sheriffdom of Tayside, Central and Fife) Order 2008 (SSI 2008/363)

laid under section 81 of the Criminal Proceedings etc. (Reform) (Scotland) Act 2007

Other Documents

The following document was laid before the Parliament on 6 November 2008 and is not subject to any parliamentary procedure

Scottish Screen National Lottery Distribution Fund Account and Report 2007-08 (SG/2008/198)

laid under section 26(3), (3A) and (4) of the National Lottery etc. Act 1993

The following documents were laid before the Parliament on 10 November 2008 and are not subject to any parliamentary procedure

Scottish Children’s Reporter Administration Annual Report 2007/2008 (SG/2008/221)

laid under section 135(1)(2)(a) of the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1994

Scottish Children’s Reporter Administration Accounts 2007/08 (SG/2008/222)

laid under section 22(5) of the Public Finance and Accountability (Scotland) Act 2000

Committee Reports

The following report was published on 12 November 2008

Finance Committee, 5th Report, 2008 (Session 3): Report on the draft Pre-release Access to Official Statistics (Scotland) Order 2008 (SP Paper 168).